Into The Hospital

I don’t remember my father as an early kind of person. He is now – big time.

I went to sleep last night around 3:30 AM. My dad rapped on hard my door around 7:30 AM. He was told to be at the hospital between 9:00 and 10:00 and he was aiming for 9:00… maybe 8:45 AM.

He’s going to the hospital today though his procedure won’t take place until tomorrow. Today is a day for medicating. His angiogram uses a dye which is stressful on his already compromised kidneys. The medicine will reduce that stress.

It’s a 20 minute drive from my parents condo in Boynton Beach to the hospital in Boca Raton. I remembered this hospital from when I lived down here nearly 40 years ago. The area was less congested, more residential, but the hospital building is still intact and well kept.

Boca Raton is different now. We pulled into the valet parking area. A Rolls pulled behind us.

When you check in, you become a part in the massive hospital machine. Hopefully you’re getting the treatment you need, though that result seems ancillary. The hospital is just moving you through the system, in much the same way UPS moves packages.

We walked in and sat in a room where patients are admitted. Wrong room. A volunteer was called to walk us through the maze to the correct admitting room.

After a few questions my dad was led to an alcove screened off with a curtain. There are eight beds in this unit, though none but my dad’s is in use right now as I type.

Two nurses walked in and began to prep my dad in much the same way Swift preps turkeys at Thanksgiving. They were fast and efficient – a well coordinated team. It only took a few minutes for my dad to give blood, get hooked to monitors and receive an IV drip.

While all this was going on his cardiologist walked in.

In our society, we encourage the brightest to become physicians. That’s a good thing. On the other hand, they often are not our most coordinated or athletic. That’s OK for diagnosis, but these doctors are also opening us up and sticking instruments inside our most vital organs. That part has always concerned me.

The plan is for my dad to have his angiogram around 7:30 AM tomorrow morning. Most likely that will be followed by the insertion of a stent.

I asked, and was told, bypass surgery (which my dad had 16 years ago) was an unlikely result. Of course bypass surgery is what worries us.

The nurse informs us that my dad’s room is ready and someone will be down to get him in a little while. His trip through the hospital machine has begun.

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